In her early teens, Devi thought she’d never be able to attend school. But then, Holt sponsors began supporting her family — lifting them out of the darkness.
“Can I say something?” Devi asks, shyly. Devi has a thin face and large, deep eyes, just like her mom. She looks less tired than her mom — although her eyes hold more suffering than most teenage girls.
“Of course,” we tell her. She had been mostly quiet during our time talking with the family, so what she says next surprises us all.
Immediately, tears cascade down her cheeks.
“I’m not speaking in English nicely, but [I want to] so thank you. It is God’s grace and mercy that you help us. I want to say, God is helping me through you. God is working, and you are His engine for good,” she says, becoming more choked up and passionate as she goes. “My mom is working and I’m working, but really, you are helping in my education and studies and all things. I am very thankful for you. Nobody sees me, but you do. You help give us medicine, milk and food. All my family was in darkness, but now there is light.”
Last Christmas, children around the world experienced a huge holiday celebration! They attended parties and received presents and ate special meals. None of these experiences would have been possible without the generosity of Holt sponsors and donors.
Children living in impoverished communities or orphanages around the world often miss out on Christmas and holiday celebrations. For children and families who barely have enough to survive each day, treats, parties and gifts wrapped in colorful paper are impossible luxuries.
But every child deserves to experience the joy and celebration of Christmas. That’s why every year, Holt sponsors and donors go above and beyond to bring Christmas to children all around the world.
When sponsors and donors give $25, a child receives a hand-picked gift, festive meal, treats and a special party with their family and friends! It’s a fun-filled day — giving them wonderful memories that they will cherish all year. This year’s celebrations may look a bit different due to COVID-19 precautions, but Holt staff and partners will work hard to make it just as special!
Take a look at last year’s joyous holiday celebrations around the world!
Since the pandemic first began spreading in early 2020, it’s changed life for everyone — but especially children in orphanage care. Here’s what life looks like now for children in orphanages from China to India to Thailand.
Water bottles. Laptops. Hand sanitizer. Masks. More caregivers. Formula. Medical supplies.
These are just some of the materials and resources needed to care for children in orphanages through this continuing pandemic.
Over the summer, we shared with you about the devastating needs children are facing in orphanages around the world. Due to the pandemic, adoptive families are unable to travel to bring their children home. At the same time, more and more children are coming into care because their families are in crisis. And costs around the world rose become of the pandemic. This left a stark reality: so many children in orphanages, but not enough resources to care for them all.
In the countries where you support children, orphanages were low on diapers, food, formula, caregivers and more. But thankfully, through your generosity, you helped meet many of these needs.
Here are just some of the ways Holt donors helped:
In the second video in our series of interviews with Holt program directors around the world, we have a message from Hepzibah Sharmila, the executive director of Vathsalya Charitable Trust — Holt’s partner organization in Bengaluru, India.
In this video update, Sharmila shares about the effects of the pandemic for children and families living in poverty, and how — with the support of Holt sponsors — she and her team have mobilized to meet their most critical needs.
We hope that you enjoy this update from the field. In this time that Holt staff can’t travel to gather information about the kids in Holt’s programs, we hope this video series encourages you with examples of all the good work you are helping to support around the world.
Click here to watch our special COVID-19 video update from Uganda! And stay tuned for more video interviews from the field!
All around the world this year, school will look different due to COVID-19. But whether children are physically in a classroom, or learning from home, your gifts will help children continue to learn and stay safe from early marriage and forced labor during this time of global crisis. Here are the current back-to-school plans in each of the countries where Holt kids live!
Whether a child is the daughter of migrant workers in India, lives near the Red Stone garbage dump in Mongolia, or has Down syndrome in Vietnam, education is vital to helping every child overcome poverty and reach their potential in life. It is also a cornerstone to the help that you provide through Holt.
But what about this year? What does back-to-school look like during a global pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented challenges before the children, families and communities Holt serves. As already vulnerable populations struggle to adapt to the economic and social disruption of this global crisis, critical work in family strengthening, orphan care, and domestic and international adoption has taken on new dimensions.
While not typically an “emergency response” organization, dedicated Holt staff in deep collaboration with long-time partners have reacted with agility and innovation to meet emergency needs as well as continue delivering holistic services and care for orphaned children and vulnerable families across our country programs. The following are brief illustrations of how Holt teams have adapted to meet shifting needs in response to COVID -19.
In Delhi, children felt isolated, bored and disconnected from their Holt-supported community during their city-wide lockdown. But then, they started a vlog to connect with each other — and it’s been more meaningful than they ever expected.
“Hello Friends! I’m Deepa,” says a young girl, giving a slight wave to the camera. Deepa wears her black hair in two low French braids fastened with purple scrunchies, and has a thin black choker necklace around her neck.
A friendly greeting and introduction like this is how 11-year-old Deepa starts all of her videos on the KARE Kids vlog. In her first video, she shares about herself, her life and her family. In a later video, titled “Arts and Crafts with Deepa,” she shows how to make a pop-up greeting card. In the one before that she shares yoga tips, and in another she tells everyone which superpower she would choose to have and why.
Deepa is one of 28 children who contribute to the KARE Kids Vlog Channel. Although, with its classroom-like feel, it’s really more like a community of friends than just a YouTube channel. Each of these children lives in Delhi, India and are part of the Kinship Care and Relational Engagement or “KARE” program through Shishu Sangopan Griha (SSG), Holt’s partner organization in the city.
From giving emergency food, water and medical supplies to supporting tele-counseling and more, you are doing amazing things to help children and families during this global health crisis. Here are the latest updates from the field.
Over the past few months, we’ve received lots of questions from you about how the coronavirus crisis is affecting children and families you help around the world.
In many ways, their lives may look similar to yours right now: children are home from school, parents are out of work or trying to find ways to work from home, they’re staying home — or wearing a mask when they have to go out in public. Parents and Holt staff in the field are teaching and reminding kids to “Wash your hands!” and “Don’t touch your face!”
But for children without families and families in poverty — the children and families you support — the effects of this coronavirus pandemic could have been devastating.
While the crisis is still ongoing and children and families will continue to face needs in the weeks and months to come, right now we want to share some good news…
Because of you, to date, our staff tell us that not one child in our programs has gotten sick from the coronavirus. Children who were hungry now have food. Families in crisis are getting the help they need!
Here are just some of the amazing updates on children and families you’ve helped since this crisis began: